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Press Release 8/2/12 - Four New Musicians


Appointments include new Principal Viola


ST. LOUIS— The St. Louis Symphony is pleased to announce the appointments of four new orchestra members:


Principal Viola Beth Guterman Chu will take her new post with the St. Louis Symphony in January of 2013.  Beth is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is currently Principal Violist in the IRIS Chamber Orchestra.   As a chamber musician she has performed with distinguished artists and ensembles including Colin Carr, David Finckel and Wu Han, members of the Guarneri Quartet, Gary Hoffman, Joseph Kalichstein, Edger Meyer, the Orion Quartet, Itzhak Perlman, Menahem Pressler, and Gil Shaham.


Beth has participated in many summer festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, Steans Institute at Ravinia , Bravo Vail Valley Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. She has recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon, Tzadik, and Naxos labels, and has toured across America, Europe, and Asia.  Beth received her Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory studying with Kim Kashkashian, and her bachelor of music and master of music degrees from the Juilliard School studying with Masao Kawasaki and Misha Amory. Joining Beth in St. Louis will be her husband and former orchestra member Jonathan Chu, and their two sons, the second due to arrive in August.


Section Viola Di Shi will start with the orchestra during the European Tour. Di comes to the Symphony from the position of Assistant Principal Viola of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and prior to that he played for a season with the San Diego Symphony.  He received an Artist Diploma and Graduate Certificate from USC’s Thornton School of Music where he studied with Donald McInnes, and a Bachelor of Music from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China.  Di was also the 3rd place winner in the Corpus Christi International String Competition in 2007.


First Violin Helen Kim, previously a one-year musician with the St. Louis Symphony, returns as a full Member in the fall.  Helen began her violin studies at the age of 6 and made her solo debut with an  orchestra three years later. An avid chamber musician, she garnered first prize in the strings division at the 2010 Coleman Competition with her trio and also at the 2011 Yale Chamber Music Society Competition. She was associate concertmaster of the New York String Orchestra during the 2009-2010 series and served as concertmaster for three consecutive years in the symphony and chamber orchestras at the University of Southern California, where she earned her bachelor's degree. Helen received her master's degree at Yale University. The Symphony is happy to welcome her as a permanent orchestra member.


Contrabassoon Andrew Thompson completed his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory where he studied with Richard Ranti. He was the winner of the 2011 Boston Woodwind Society Competition. In addition to his work with several orchestras in the Chicago and Boston areas, Drew has performed several times with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including a solo appearance. He was a regular member of the Civic Orchestra Chicago and its MusiCorps Woodwind Quintet, which took part in numerous community outreach projects. Drew received his B.M. from DePaul University where he studied with David McGill, William Buchanan and Robert Barris. Drew is from St. Louis and is the 7th St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra alum to join the St. Louis Symphony.